During the two weeks of the Summer School, I stuck with a task despite some initial concerns. The first time I ran it there was some confusion, as to the exact nature of the exercise by one perplexed student, and what her role was.
Before the lesson try to determine those students who need work on clear, accurate speech, and those who have issues with understanding complex English.
A min of 20 word texts, a maximum of 50 are digestible for this task.
Texts from such magazines as The Economist, Harvard Weekly and Engine I find are both of a high enough level, and have many examples whereby texts are easily separable into shorter passages.
- Spread these texts around the room, and away from work tables.
- Split your group into smaller groups (4 -8 students), around work tables at a significant distance from each other.
- Sub divide this group into those that will dictate, and those that will have to comprehend the text and paraphrase.
- Have a flip chart sheet in the middle of the group for those who will scribe the texts they hear.
For some groups you may have to give them pointers as to how they should approach the task.
Sending no more than 2 or 3 at a time.
Marking the texts that have been done with a colour marker.
- The groups then have to collect via transference the texts from around the room, either dictating or paraphrasing.
This task covers accurate speech, memory skills, comprehension, paraphrasing and writing skills.
Make sure that the students catch on to the task, and their roles. Take time in your explanation to avoid any misunderstandings.
As a fun filler I also did this with unusual food, and meals the morning after an evening dinner at a local Croatian restaurant with the group.
The first time I ran it, having not done a task like this for some time, I rushed the explanation, which left the aforementioned student behind the curve and confused.
But the task led to very interesting discussions about the text themes; Self Management, and what CEOs should/should not do. Likewise the students felt it benefited their speaking, listening and writing skills (especially spelling: something I will return to in another section).
What I realize now is that I should return to some of these tasks, as oldies and goodies are often neglected when we start to revamp, change or modernize our teaching styles.